The Ketoflex Diet Plan Breakdown & Sample Recipes To Try at Home
I am a Dr. Bredesen’s Protocol Certified Practitioner who has helped many patients maintain and improve their brain health and waste lines with the Ketoflex 12/3 diet. In this article, I will help you understand why this diet is so powerful and how to implement it on your own.
Good nutrition, exercise and adequate sleep help you stay healthy, optimizes cognition, and well- being. How we handle stress and experience joy can also contribute to health. Everything is connected! <> So, what does the ketoflex diet have to do with cognitive health? A diet that creates ketosis is a fat- burning state creating ketones. Ketones are the preferred fuel for the brain and not glucose as most of us were taught. Ketones burn faster with reduced oxidation.
The Ketoflex diet helps restore proper brain growth and reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation in the brain) by increasing ketones, and neurotrophic factors (BDNF)
Ketosis is safe. Did you know that babies are naturally in ketosis most of the time? The breast milk is high in medium chain triglycerides (MCT) supporting ketosis. And throughout history ketones served humans as the preferred fuel.
How are ketones produced? By fasting, minimizing refined carbohydrates, proteins, increasing good fats and exercising. It is primarily a plant-based diet but allows clean sources of animal products.
Are there side effects? It is possible to experience transitional side effects. Irritable, lethargy, nausea and sometimes “brain fog” are side effects experienced during the first week, often on day 2-4. Usually they are related to dehydration and mineral/salt loss. You can avoid having“flu-like” symptoms by staying well hydrated. Bone broth or adding a half teaspoon of salt to a large glass or water eliminates the side effects within 15-30 minutes. Also, you need more fat and adding more butter or coconut oil will be helpful.
The Ketoflex 12/3 Diet Plan in 3 Steps
Step #1: Fast for at least 12 hours between the end of dinner and the beginning of breakfast.
Fasting allows for a fat-burning state that produces ketones which also contributes to increased insulin sensitivity and detoxification. ApoE4 carriers may want to work towards extending the fast to 16 hours. Coffee and/or tea is allowed but no sugar, instead you could take stevia for sweetening.
Hungry? Add a teaspoon of coconut oil or other MCT oil to your coffee or tea. Fast for at least 3 hours prior to going to bed.
Step #2: Minimize simple carbohydrates!
Sugar, candy, cookies, muffins, cakes, all bread, pasta, white potatoes, grains, soft drinks—both regular and diet (artificial sweeteners disrupt the gut microbiome)—fruit juices, alcohol, processed foods, and anything with high fructose corn syrup. They create inflammation and insulin resistance and decrease the brain’s ability to utilize glucose for energy.
Step #3: Eat Whole Food, Mostly Plant-Based.
The majority of your diet should be comprised of non-starchy vegetables with some limited starchy vegetables.
● Cruciferous Vegetables
○ Bok Choy
○ Broccoli Sprouts – A MUST – significantly improves insulin resistance and detoxification
○ Brussels Sprouts
○ Daikon Horseradish
○ Leafy greens (such as kale spinach, and lettuce, etc) Leeks
○ Sweet potatoes
● Low glycemic fruits are better than higher glycemic ones.
○ (The best fruits are wild berries, lemons, limes, tomatoes, olives and avocados) Fruits (not exclusive list):
● Mushrooms often considered vegetables, are actually important and unique edible fungi that have been prized throughout the ages and cultures for their medicinal and flavor qualities
● Herbs and spices contain antiviral and antimicrobial properties
● Fiber and resistant starches. Their byproducts provide us with SCFA (short-
chain fatty acids) and ketones that are excellent fuels, products that contribute to the integrity of the gut lining, the regulation of the immune system, and thus to brain health. They help us feel full and regulate bowel function.
● Fiber from uncooked veggies (to restore nitric oxide signaling and blood flow to the brain and body)
● Nuts and seeds (best soaked and sprouted), contain an excellent fat, protein, vitamin, mineral and fiber content.
○ Macadamia nuts
○ Brazil nuts
○ Pine nuts
○ Cacao (used as nibs or powder)
○ Pumpkin seeds
○ Sunflower seeds
○ Sesame seeds
○ Flax seeds
○ Hemp seeds
○ Chia seeds
○ Walnuts have been especially associated with brain health because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content, but should be consumed raw since PUFAs oxidize easily.
○ Cacao nuts (as cacao nibs, powder or butter), especially raw, are another star in brain health for their healthy fat, nutrient density, metabolic enhancing effect, and flavonols. They have nearly 4x the antioxidant impact of dark chocolate.
○ Dark chocolate (86% or higher) is also excellent.
○ Avoid peanuts (especially peanut butter), which are legumes, and are associated with mold contamination and the resulting inflammation.
● Legumes are helpful for vegetarians and vegans for their protein, mineral and fiber content. However, can be problematic because they contain lectins, phytates, and enzyme inhibitors, which contribute to inflammation and impair digestion/nutrient absorption.
● Good Fats:
○ Extra Virgin Olive Oil (high polyphenol, with a known harvest date, cold pressed, stored in a dark bottle)
○ Avocados and avocado oil
○ Coconut and coconut oil* (preferably organic, cold pressed, unrefined, without chemical processing)
○ MCT Oil
○ Walnut oil
○ Avoid ALL seed, grain, and bean oils (polyunsaturated, omega6, heatextracted and GMO refined oils) such as soy, corn, canola, peanut, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and palm kernel
○ For cooking oils, choose oils with high “smoking” points, that do not produce smoke at higher temperatures. Good choices are avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, or animal fat.
○ Avoid all trans fats processed foods such as crackers, cookies, cakes, chips, microwave popcorn, frozen dinners, pizza, creamers, margarine, cool whip, and all fast food.
● Protein: As a flexitarian diet, the Ketoflex 12/3 diet is not too high in protein (~30g/meal).
○ Pasture raised eggs
○ Pasture raised (and grass fed) meats – use as a condiment, not as the main course
○ Wild-caught fish (SMASH fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring)
Ketoflex 12/3 Diet Recipes to Try
Sweet Potato Avocado “Toast”
A gluten-free twist on every millenial’s favorite food!
1. 1 large sweet potato (one that is more oval or oblong will work better than one that’s round)
2. 1 avocado
3. 1 c Broccoli Sprouts
4. Salt to taste
1. Wash and slice the sweet potato lengthwise into 1⁄4 inch slices
2. Toast these slices in a toaster oven on high. Check after 10 minutes to see if it is cooked all
3. the way through and put back in for another 5 minutes if necessary.
4. While the potatoes are toasting, cut open the avocado and mash in a bowl with salt.
5. Spread the mashed avocado over your finished pieces of “toast”
6. Top with broccoli sprouts
Sweet Potato Coconut Soup
This blended soup is perfect for fall and cozying up with a cup of herbal tea.
1. 3 tbsp olive oil
2. 1⁄2 sweet onion, chopped
3. 2 stalks celery, chopped
4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
5. 2 in fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or 2 tbsp minced ginger)
6. 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
7. 3 carrots, chopped
8. 4 c broth (or water)
9. 1 can coconut milk
10. 1 tbsp cinnamon
1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat
2. Add onion, celery, garlic, and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes
3. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, and broth
4. Bring to a boil and switch to low heat, letting it continue to bubble uncovered until potatoes
5. are tender, about 15 minutes
6. Remove from heat and add coconut milk and cinnamon
7. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend until desired consistency (I prefer it a little on the chunkier side)
*If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender, doing half the
batch or less at a time.
Grilled Mackerel and Daikon
Grilled mackerel is called saba shioyaki in Japanese and it is a very common food, as is daikon, or white radish.
1. 2 mackerel fillets
3. 2 tbsp ghee
4. 2 inches of daikon radish
1. Grate the radish, and set aside.
2. Cover a frying pan with aluminum foil.
3. Cut each mackerel fillet in half. Salt both sides of the fish.
4. Heat the frying pan at medium heat, and melt the ghee on the surface of the aluminum foil.
5. Place the fish skin side down on the foil. Cook 7-8 minutes on each side, or until brown and cooked through.
6. Enjoy the fish with the side of daikon.
Did you enjoy the information and still have questions or want to know more about Dr Bredesen’s Protocol and/or Ketoflex Diet?
Book a complimentary 15 min consultation with Barbara!
Nutritional Guidelines for Optimal Brain Metabolism ReCode Recipes adapted from MyBioHack